MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor

The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has alleged that it is President Akufo-Addo who directed the implementation of the recommendation that presidential spouses be paid salaries.

Speaking on TopStory, Mr Dafeamekpor revealed that President Akufo-Addo directed the Finance Ministry to enforce the recommendation of the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee.

“Here is the question, somebody is saying that why didn’t we raise hell. Why didn’t we make noise enough?

“The thing is this, still at that point, that recommendation remained a mere recommendation by the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee. It is only when the President took steps last week to as it were, direct the Finance Ministry to take steps to give effect to that recommendation. That was when we realized that the law has truly been breached so we needed to have it struck out,” he said on Friday.

According to the South Dayi MP, the Minority contested the approval of the recommendation when it came before the floor of the House. However, the Majority Group with large representation approved it.

“We said that is totally unconstitutional because there is no basis in the constitution that permits the Professor Ntiamoah-Baidu-led Committee to even venture into such an area. So to that extent that particular recommendation ought to be struck out or deleted from the report so we could go ahead and approve it.

“The majority at the time and still the majority now refused and so by the shear numbers, they overwhelmed the minority led by the Honourable Muntaka in this matter. So the 123-page report was approved.”

His statements come at a time when members of the general public are displeased with Parliament’s decision to pay salaries and allowances to the spouses of the President and Vice President.

Parliament in January this year, approved the Prof. Baidu Ntiamoah Committee’s report recommending emoluments for the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature. The committee’s report also made provisions for the spouses of the President and Vice President.

Many including Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Builsa South MP, Clement Apaak, have filed a suit at the Supreme Court to challenge the payment of emoluments to Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Mrs Samira Bawumia.

The plaintiffs argued that according to “a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, 1992, spouses of the President and the Vice President are not Article 71 office holders to warrant payment of emoluments to them.”

Thus, they want the recommendation by the Committee to be declared null and void.

Meanwhile, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has quizzed if such courtesy will be extended to the spouses of the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice if such a move is to stand.

“The mandate of the Committee is to deal with Article 71 of the public officeholders. Why would the Committee presume that when they were dealing with the emoluments of Article 71 office holders, the spouses of the President were not already factored into the existing arrangement? So if by reasoning, are they saying that the same courtesy be extended to the spouses of the Speakership, Chief Justice, administrator of the Common Fund, MPs? That is the absurdity this reasoning will lead us to.”

“They ought not to have ventured because already, the spouses of the President and his vice are already catered for under the household provision which are the privileges of office,” he added.

For him, if the government is keen to see presidential spouses receive emoluments, such a decision should be brought to Parliament as a bill for the House to debate on the matter, rather than use the backdoor approach.

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